Word of Thanks
The publication of this commentary on the book of Song of Songs is a good opportunity to express my great thanks to Jesus Christ, my Redeemer and Lord. In addition to my desire, He has also given me the opportunity to write a commentary about all the books of the Bible [in Dutch, my native language]. I see this as a great privilege and at the same time a great responsibility. It is up to the reader to examine the Scriptures to see if what is in the comments is in accordance with God’s thoughts (Acts 17:11). For the good that the reader discovers in it, the Lord Jesus deserves all honor.
I am also grateful to the Lord for the many who have been used by Him to contribute a comment. It is impossible for me to mention the names of those from whom I have received help in writing a comment. I cannot imagine a commentary, that could be written without the help of others. This help included, for example, a comprehensive explanation that someone wrote, which helped me to understand the text better. It may also be someone who has pointed out a detail to me with a suggestion for improvement. I am also grateful to all those who over the years have made publication in book and digital form possible. This also applies to those who helped in the translation of a commentary in a certain language.
The Lord has arranged things in the church in such a way that the members need each other to perform the task He has given each member. He will reward everyone who has made a contribution, in whatever form. In mentioning names, I could just forget someone, but He doesn’t forget one.
I would like to make one exception: my wife Willy. I am particularly grateful to the Lord for her contribution:
Dear Willy, you have received a great empathetic capacity from the Lord. You have an eye for the many details the Lord has given in life, which make life so colorful and meaningful. I don’t have an eye like that, but you have shown it to me by being who you are in your relationship with; the Lord, with me, with our children, in-laws and grandchildren, fellow believers, the people in the area where we live and in many encounters elsewhere. In those ways, you have made numerous contributions for the application of God’s Word in daily life, so that I have been able to incorporate these in the comments. I thank the Lord from the bottom of my heart for the unity He has made of us in our differences.
The basis for this commentary about the Song of Songs are addresses that I was able to give in the period 2009-2013 in Schmalkalden, Germany. A first proposal for a topic for the addresses was marriage and relationships. Since I prefer a book of the Bible for a topic, I suggested to share thoughts about the book of the Song of Songs. This Bible book is excellent for making applications on marriage and relationships.
I must honestly say that I found it quite a daring venture to give addresses about this Bible book. Song of Songs is a poetic book and I am not very poetic. When we read this book, we may think: ‘Do we as husband and wife live together like this? Do we as husband and wife talk about and to each other as it happens in this book?’ I love my wife dearly and try to make her see and hear that in my own way. But that is somewhat different from what is described in this book.
Yet we have these manifestations of love in God’s Word. Therefore, it has something to say to us. It is also true of this book of the Bible, that it is inspired by God because it is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2Tim 3:16-17).
This book is about love relationships, about relationships between husband and wife. We can apply that to our marriage. Much of it can also be applied to our family, and also to our relationships with our fellow believers, our brothers and sisters. From what we read in this book about love, we can therefore learn a lot about the way we look at each other, how we see each other and what we say to each other, in short, how we deal with each other.